By Tyra Wilkes, Special to the AFRO

The District of Columbia Health Department is warning residents against an increase in an intestial illness, called Cyclosporiasis, after 14 people have been diagnosed in 2019 compared to 8 total in 2018. The Food and Drug Administration is urging residents against buying, eating, or serving fresh basil products exported by Siga Logistics de RL de CV located in Morelos, Mexico where they believe the contamination is originating. 

While doing your best to avoid purchase or consumption of basil, D.C. Health Department is also advising local businesses to refrain from selling, serving, or distributing fresh basil exported from this or other unknown providers. 

The District of Columbia Health Department is warning residents to watch where one buys basil due to cyclosporiasis, an intestinal illness. (Courtesy Photo)

For prevention inside your own home, be sure to wash hands thoroughly before handling any fruits and vegetables, wash all fruits and vegetables thoroughly before eating. In addtion store fruits and vegetables away from raw meat, poultry, and seafood, and refrigerate cut, peeled, or cooked fruits and vegetables as soon as possible or within 2 hours; amongst all other food preparation procedures.

If infected, Cyclosporiasis  symptoms start about one week after consumption and can last a few days to a month. The infection causes watery diarrhea with frequent, sometimes explosive bowel movements. 

Other symptoms include loss of appetite, weight loss, stomach cramps/pain, bloating, increased gas, nausea, or fatigue; you may also experience flu-like symptoms like headaches, body aches and fever.

If you experience any of these symptoms see your healthcare provider immediately.